Asta 2

Long Post - You Have Been Warned

I was going to do a series of separate, smaller posts, but lethargy has resulted in the mega-post. Let’s begin with the TV round up:

Psych - I still don’t know how I feel about this show. On the one hand, I like the two leads, particularly Dule Hill as Gus. I love how Gus is so eager to rush to the crime scene as soon as Shawn provides him with a juicy detail, but as soon as they get there and they find either a gruesome discovery or confrontation he’s looking for the nearest bathroom to throw up or passing out. :)

The problem is that the cases have been snoozefests and the supporting players bordering on clichés. If the nemesis police detective had a moustache, he may be twirling it. And while I largely like James Roday as Shawn (he’s cute, he’s funny), his exaggerated mannerisms to go along with his ‘visions’ have already begun grating.

Nightmares & Dreamscapes: Or when good actors get lousy material. I watched two episodes, was unimpressed, and about to give up when raislak highly recommended the Ron Livingston episode. I found it On Demand and decided to give the series one last chance. I ended up fast-forwarding through half of it. I can only assume Stephen King came up with this idea after seeing Serenity.

Life on Mars - My Flist, you did not mislead me on this. I liked it a lot, though no deep thoughts at this point.

Dead Like Me - I’ll reiterate, very Wondersfallish (same guy behind them both so no surprise), but the characters are very different so any similarities aren’t really bugging me. Thus far, Roxy is my favorite character. She’s sarcastic, somewhat cynical, and a little bit bitter. Maybe I like her because she reminds me a lot of…me. ;) Mason is cute and has the accent going for him, but my TV boyfriends have to be smart and sexy and how he died killed the smart part. ;p

Amazing Screw on Head: I’m not a huge animated series fan but I heard David Hyde Pierce and Paul Giammati were voicing two of the characters so I had to check this one out. OMG, it’s so good! Snappy, intelligent dialogue, cool animation, and did I mention the leads? Definitely check this one out – Sci-Fi, Thursday, 10:30est.

So my most recent ‘How Much Did You Spend On This’ purchase (TM my mother) is the audio recording of the BBC adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. When I fangirl, about the only thing that will stop me from buying are the dreaded words “Region 2”. Luckily, CDs are universal so after I discovered that one of Jamie’s radio performances was actually available for listening (the BBC sucks at archiving) I handed over my money to the folks at amazon.com.uk.


I have to say, just being able to listen to Jamie perform in a very, very proper English accent, it was well worth the money. Not to mention the added bonuses of hearing him sing, not well, and listening to him throw up. Usually the latter bit would make me gag, but it was quite an amusing official introduction to his character and I'm sure he was quite cute performing this. ;)

One of the reviews I read mentioned that the production had a fine cast (I agree, great performances all around), but that Jamie lacked a mature voice. I know I’m biased, but I don’t agree with that statement. To begin with, we are introduced to Sebastian at age 18 and he should sound young. When we last hear from Sebastian in his early thirties, you can tell how worn down he is by life and his alcoholism. How it's aged him and not for the better. And there is one scene in particular where he laments to his friend (and more if you listen to this as I did) Charles that Charles is being stolen from him by his charismatic family and it just breaks my heart.

After Sebastian/Jamie largely disappears early in disc 3, I admit, my interest waned. I actually had to check out wikipedia to find out what I was suppose to get from this story overall. I took it to be about the Flyte family and, in particular, the relationship between Sebastian and Charles. Oh no, it’s about Catholicism and God’s grace. And as the story draws to a close those aspects are laid on in a rather heavy handed manner.

It doesn’t help that the characters lack substance and why they act as they do is never made clear. This may not be the fault of the book, rather the editing for this production. There’s much talk about Sebastian’s distaste for his family, but they are, for the most part, depicted as flawed, but decent people. There is never a clear explanation, imho, as to why Sebastian lives such a miserable life that pushes him towards chronic alcoholism for escape. And it was laughable to me how Julia goes from divorcing her husband to marry Charles, a man she admittedly deeply loves, to chucking him and living in misery in order to repent for her “sin”.

What perplexes me most is that there is apparently debate (again, courtesy of wikipedia) as to whether Sebastian and Charles loved each other or loved each other. The mini series from the 80’s I believe played up that aspect as did whoever adapted the story for radio. Given some of the dialogue, I don’t know how there could be any doubt. I could buy that given the time, Catholic ideals, and a sense of propriety that *maybe* they wouldn’t act on their feelings in a physical manner, but with a lack of build up to Charles and Julia’s great love I have to rationalize that since he couldn’t have Sebastian, Charles settled for a female version of him.

Though I haven’t commented much I wanted all you WriterCon attendees to know I’ve been reading all your posts and enjoying your recaps. And pictures! It’s nice to put faces with names of people I have not yet met.

Battlestar Galactica 2007 calendar! From the cover it looks as if the images are taken from the mini and season 1, but calendar! :-)

Galacticanews provided a link to a transcript provided by tunfaire at captainapollo of Jamie's interview in the lastest official BSG magazine. There be SPOILERS. However, if you skip the second question and answer -"How do you think that year affected Lee as a character?" - and the third question and answer - "How do you think his relationship with his father has been affected?" - there is nothing spoilery and Jamie provides some very interesting insights into his character and the show. My favorite revelation may be he is wearing Grace/Sharon's pregnancy tummy to bulk him up! :)

ETA:

SG-1

Seriously, what is up with the pigtails? They really have to go.

And if only to add another dynamic to my viscious shipper war with danceswithwords, Cam/Vala 4EVA!

Cam and Shep together? All kinds of hot. If any of you see and icon of there brief moment of glory together, please let me know.

OK, Teal'c and Chris Judge were just all sorts of odd in this episode. Of course, Chris probably got to spend two days shooting in a little box all for a minute of screentime (which felt totally forced). I probably wouldn't have put much effort into it either.

And I think the show has officially collapsed under the weight of it's own mythology. I have no clue what they are talking about.

Atlantis

I was actually embarrased at many points for the actors. I had to cover my eyes twice. And the story was completely predictable. Sheppard is immune because he has a cold. Wow! Didn't see that coming!

I actually did like Sheppard in this ep. Probably because I could identify with him looking at the rest like they were insane.

I'll never get Shep/Rodney, but boy that bit at the end was just playing into the fans fantasies.
There’s much talk about Sebastian’s distaste for his family, but they are, for the most part, depicted as flawed, but decent people. There is never a clear explanation, imho, as to why Sebastian lives such a miserable life that pushes him towards chronic alcoholism for escape. And it was laughable to me how Julia goes from divorcing her husband to marry Charles, a man she admittedly deeply loves, to chucking him and living in misery in order to repent for her “sin”.

I thought the book (which is a wonderful, wonderful book BTW) made it clear that Sebastian was gay, but I never got that Charles was in love with him so much as absolutely fascinated by this entirely different creature and the world he gave him access to. It wasn't just the family's Catholicism that was stifling; it was their tradition, the weight of their aristocratic values, which was the thing that fascinated Charles so much about them and also the thing that kept them from being able to adapt in a changing world. Julia wasn't only repenting from the Catholic sin of divorce, but from the family sin of rejecting the suitable choice and entering into a marriage that the family felt was beneath her. And in the end, the family's traditions were more important to her than her happiness; she came close to breaking free, but she wasn't quite able to escape the values she'd been raised with. Sebastian spent his entire life rebelling against that, and Charles, who saw the glamour of the family tradition without understanding its burden at first, spent his entire life coming to understand that about Sebastian. The people in the family aren't bad, but their expectations warp their children and destroy their happiness. It's too bad more of that didn't come across in the adaptation.

Mason is cute and has the accent going for him, but my TV boyfriends have to be smart and sexy and how he died killed the smart part.

I know! It's such a shame.

I didn't realize The Amazing Screw-on Head was airing; thanks for the tip. ::sets TiVO::
Jamie as Sebastian?!! I must have this! Thank you for mentioning it!!

Having read the book and watched the miniseries, I think the miniseries was much better - one of the few times the movie improved on the book. I totally agree that Charles settled for Julia because he could not have Sebastian. As I remember, Sebastian's sister Cordelia asked Charles if he loved Sebastian, and he said yes. So I never doubted it.

In this day and age it's difficult to imagine Julia giving up Charles to make up for divorcing her husband, a big no-no for Catholics in those days, and something her mother held against her until she died. I have to agree with something Sebastian said once to Charles, that Catholicism in England was, and I imagine still is, pretty rare in England, and perhaps this made his mother feel they needed to be perfect Catholics in order to justify their faith. At least I felt that at the time. But then maybe it's just a Catholic thing :) Spencer Tracy's wife would not divorce him because of her religion, yet didn't seem to object to his relationship with Katharine Hepburn as long as it was kept quiet - go figure.
Jamie as Sebastian?!! I must have this!

Hee. I thought of you while listening. I'll add you to the list for copies. ;)

I have to agree with something Sebastian said once to Charles, that Catholicism in England was, and I imagine still is, pretty rare in England, and perhaps this made his mother feel they needed to be perfect Catholics in order to justify their faith. At least I felt that at the time.

That's a good point. It seems that the mother had created, if not an ideal of perfection, then very high standards for her children. I think her charisma, as Sebastian refered to it, helped mask the disdain she had for her children's behavior and perceived failings to most outsiders. Cordelia was a troublesome student. Sebastian partied too much. Julia married a non-Catholic. Not a big deal to most people. Sebastian saw through it, yet wasn't strong enough to really break free from it . And it's probably this lack of total honesty that drove her husband away. It's frustrating to have someone be sweet and agreeable on the outside, while they hide their true feelings on the inside.
I didn't know Psych was on yet. I saw a trailer for it not too long ago and thought it looked very interesting. Hmm, must try to get my hands on it.
Definitely try out 'Psych'. I'm going to keep watching because the things that kind of annoy me are totally fixable and I realize not all shows can be BSG quality in their first season. ;)

So, has the discussion above sold you on 'Brideshead'???
Haha, Lee is pregnant. :)

I actually really liked the Ron Livingston segment of Nightmares and Dreamscapes. I read the story a long time ago (so actually Joss stole it from King!) but didn't really remember the details and thought it was all quite haunting. I've been bored by some of the other ones (I barely even watched the two from this week) but I thought this one and the one with William Hurt were good.
Haha, Lee is pregnant.

But who knocked him up???

Joss stole from King? Well I knew somebody ripped somebody off! ;p

The William Hurt ep was the best ep I saw. And it wasn't so much the plot, but his performance and that the story was told without using dialogue. I watched for about fifteen minutes before I realized nobody was speaking!
I forgot to mention the police chief! I like her too. One interesting thing I picked up on with her, or actually with those around her, is that her pregnancy has been a non-issue. Up until this weeks ep did anyone use the word "pregnancy"?

In the pilot Gus's work in the pharmacutical industry and his knowledge of medication played a key role in solving the case. I thought perhaps that was going to be his thing - a familiarity with drugs, chemicals, and science in general to provide a rational, scientific counterpoint to Shawn's keen observation and guesswork. But, thus far, that hasn't really been the case.

Mason is deeply stupid, but also deeply moving, especially later on.

Oh, good to know.
Amazing Screw on Head

It took me almost as long to suss out that this didn't refer to an unusual piece of hardware perching on top of someone's part, as it did to realize that My Son wasn't referring to intrauterine devices yesterday.

I suspect I am too old and dumm to be on lj.
I had the embarrassment squcik thing with SGA and also thought it was boring. I *hated* the ep however, because it treated rohypnal like rape as humorous.
I *hated* the ep however, because it treated rohypnal like rape as humorous.

Yeah, that was one of those moments when you realize the writers are a) not thinking or b) just don't care. I don't think the show is great, but I thought it better than cheap sex jokes. At least Sheppard seemed mildly stunned/repulsed when what's-his-name made the remark about sometimes having sex with all his wives at once. Why did they even have to include that plot point about having multiple wives? They could have let it go with him just using the herb to gain wealth and power.
Sorry on the mislead on Dreamscapes, maybe it just hit me at the right/wrong time.

Screw-On Head was great! And for all the reasons you mentioned.

Made the mistake of watching the last 25 minutes of the next ep of Eureka, which only con firmed my original feeling... "hated it"

On SG1, the toss away lines Vala had were great, but other than that, glad I was making a sandwich in the kitchen at the time. (Dagwood stile).

Saw that BSG 2.5 is being released in Sept. (Check Amazon)
I also love that they allow Vala to be right once in awhile. It was great seeing Daniel outsmarted by her.

Saw that BSG 2.5 is being released in Sept. (Check Amazon)

It amuses me that you think I don't know that already.
2 things.
1. you can watch the pilot of the amazing screw-on head on sci fi pulse. http://www.scifi.com/pulse/ nifty! i haven't watched it yet, but later today i will...

2. re: that article you linked to: that jamie bamber is just so smart and charming. i love a smart actor. and cute!
I was about to say I think you'll really like 'Head' but that just sounds wrong...

I knew it was up at the Pulse site, but when I heard it was airing on Sci-Fi I thought I'd be all old school and watch it on TV. ;)

Just when I think I couldn;t like Jamie anymore, I do!
I realize I totally forgot to comment on this *bad widget! no biscuit!* but I was thrilled to learn that Brideshead Revisited was available through amazon.co.uk. I'd been wanting to get my hands on it, but it used to be that it was only available through the BBC website and they don't ship to the US *bad BBC website! no biscuit!* I even plotted to order it and force one of my friends in the UK to take possession and then ship it to me.

But I am deprived no longer! I ordered it and it arrived yesterday! (damn fast turn around, too!) and I've listened to the first disk already. Loves! and really, it would be worth the price of admission just to hear Jamie hurling. LOL! And his mention of "bits" which has forever been pervified thanks to romanticalgirl who coined the phrase Bamberbits.

So, thank you very, very much for bringing this to my attention. such a lovely treat and another worthy addition to my embarrassingly large Jamie Bamber collection.
You're very welcome! I only became aware of the 'Brideshead' recording a couple months ago, I think off a listing at the crumpeteers comm. I did see it at the BBC site, but I didn't know they didn't ship outside the UK. WTF? Of course, these are the same genuises who threw 'Doctor Who' eps in the trash decades ago because no one would care to see them in the future and who don't archive stuff at their website for those of us who came to appreciate Jamie more recently.

I'll be interested to know what you think of the entire production once you finish. I was all giggly when Jamie went from very proper English gentleman to hurling. Only he could make throwing up so adorable. ;)

and another worthy addition to my embarrassingly large Jamie Bamber collection.

Hmmm, I don't know, do you have 'Ghost Rig' *and* 'Ultimate Force'? ;)
And while I largely like James Roday as Shawn (he’s cute, he’s funny), his exaggerated mannerisms to go along with his ‘visions’ have already begun grating.

This is a big reason why I can't get turned on by the show. I keep trying, but that and well, a lot of his regular exaggerated mannerisms, just bugs me a bit. However, I am with you about Dule Hill. Incredibly likable.